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Last Updated: 02 Dec 11

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Crissa-Jean Chappell


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Plays by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Everyday Use

1st Produced:

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1st Published:

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Blaire stakes out her target and draws his profile in her sketchbook: a bulgy face like a Mylar balloon, hair gelled to the side, hovering in a dense cloud of doom. Thayer is one of the potato-like people whom Blaire documents with a felt-tip pen. She trails him around the gray, dehydrated outskirts of suburban Miami. Just out of high school, Blaire has no plans for the next five minutes, so she spies on fellow outsiders like an archeologist from another planet. We first meet Blaire as a little girl, dealing with her older sister's impromptu move back home with a squealing baby. Later, we see Blaire and her sunnier, prettier niece grow up and rival for attention, a pair of polar opposites in appearance and attitude. Blaire is always searching for a way out of her fantasy life, which carries her away from the family conflict at home. Everyday Use works like a not-so-secret message in code, a happy face sticker with a minus sign for a mouth or a T-shirt that warns, "smiling is a warning sign of a stroke." It lets us into Blaire's world without allowing us to feel superior. Unlike the cutting, verbally-acrobatic kids of typical teen comedies, Blaire's hard-edged surface hides a sweeter center, not dissimilar to the script itself. She is always active - whether cracking wise or sitting still, listening to the running commentary in her head. In the end, she makes a choice and finally snaps out of her stupor. Someone else's loneliness has stamped out her own.)

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